Sometimes God “makes us lie down in green pastures and leads us beside still waters.”
Other times, He calls us to “walk through the valley of the shadow of death” — but even there “He is with us and His rod and staff comfort us!”
God may allow us to be thrown into the burning furnace but in every furnace there is one like the Son of man. God can keep us from the furnace and He can keep us in the furnace.
Do you remember the account of the three Hebrews who wouldn’t bow down to the idol? After God delivered them from the fire, the text tells us that, “there wasn’t even the smell of smoke on them” (Daniel 3:27).
“One trouble with some dear people who suffer a little for Jesus is that you never hear the last of it. Now if you do go into the fiery furnace on occasion please ask God to take away the smell of smoke so that the rest of your days you won’t be lamenting about what a time you had suffering for Jesus” (Vance Havner).
- “For our light affliction which is but for a moment works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (II Corinthians 4:17).
- “… our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).
- Jeremiah the prophet who knew what it meant to suffer, wrote, “Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great in His unfailing love” (Lamentations 3:32).
“…compared to that boundless existence which is our birthright, how paltry and insignificant do the longest trials appear, though they have lain for many years on the soul and life! Judged by the measureless span of eternity, they are but for a season, and will pass as completely from memory as the clouds of early morning before the meridian glory of a long summer day.” (F.B. Meyer, Tried by Fire, p.30,)